Month: May 2016

Why I DON’T support Fiber in the Data-Center

Sales Reps, plug your ears.

It’s Fast!

It’s Long Range!

But, It’s Expensive!

That’s why I don’t recommend fiber in small to medium sized data centers. Sorry for the title shock, but we are excluding big data, where I wouldn’t use an ounce of copper.

GBICs have come WAY down in price. You can get a Cisco compatible SFP+ for almost under $60, which is awesome, but fiber is so expensive! Two meter patch cables in SMF/MMF run anywhere from $25 to $120 depending on the environment and connector. That’s ridiculous. A gigabit quality two meter CAT5e costs…nothing. Admit it, you have this lying around just about everywhere; there’s plenty to cannibalize.

But but…my Cisco rep says blah blah fiber ten gig. A two meter CAT6a cable is a whopping four bucks.

But vMotion and DDOS and containers and other buzzwords! CAT7a and CAT8a may not be floating around your IT closet yet, but they are rapidly picking up use, they’re cheaper, and have been tested all the way up to 40Gbps.

But Steve, if that’s true, my sales rep lied to me.

No they didn’t they just dint tell you everything. Cisco, Juniper, HPE, etc., they all need to make a buck if we want them to stay in business…and we do. Unfortunately, IT Depts all over the world are seen as the disgusting back office in which money flows the wrong way. This is even more apparent at small scale. Our parts are expensive and that hurts the small-medium business owners.

So, what can you do to save business owner tears? Help them filter the sales rep noise. Just because you have 500 employees and you know who Oracle is doesn’t mean you need a fiber switch or SMF between each piece of metal. Get some bubble gum, a metal coat hangar, an RJ-45 clip (preferably one with the clip still attached), and make your own gigabit ethernet cable.

^Dont actually do that, you’ll need 4-8 hangers for a successful pinout.

Here’s what inspired this mini-rant.